Serendipity & Stripe

It’s once again time for First Friday at my favorite Santa Cruz boutique Stripe!  What is First Friday?  On the first Friday of every month various galleries, boutiques, and restaurants in Santa Cruz host local artists and the town just has a giant art hopping party.  This month Stripe plays host to local artist Danielle Rahe Fox and we’re bringing the jam.

The Important Details

When: Friday, September 3rd

Time: 5:00-9:00pm

Where: Stripe – 107 Walnut Ave (next to Soif and across from Walnut Ave Cafe)

Why:  According to Stripe, “Why not!?”


Photos by Rachel Wolf


Important Jam Details:

Cranberry Pepper Jam & Hot Red Pepper Jelly served with Cream Cheese Spread

Strawberries with Spiced Tangerines and Cream Cheese

Brandied Peach Preserves and Cheddar Cheese

I Dig Fig paired with Caramelized Onions and Cream Cheese


Hope to see you on Friday!



Summer Tomato Soup

Summer Tomatoes

August is now behind us on the central coast and the good tomatoes have finally made their way into the market… in abundance!  Cherry, brandywine, cherokees, romas, green zebras, and the outstanding candy like dry farmed early girls were practically jumping out of their baskets and flats begging to come with me today at market.  However, I had one variety in mind because tonight I’m making my favorite tomato soup.  The lucky winners? A combination of cherokee purples and dry farmed early girls.  They’re my favorite variety for soup because they have a wonderful flavor and a great color. Continue reading

Strawberries with Spiced Tangerines

The Appetizers

While pulling some jams for orders and our farmers markets this week I came to discover three cases of our wonderful Spiced Tangerines and so I’ve decided to re-share one of my favorite recipes from the past year,   Strawberries with Spiced Tangerines.  Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for this recipe but I do have the honor of knowing the chef behind them and will share the story of how they came to be.

During the spring and summer months, well and sometimes into fall if the weather permits, in Santa Cruz there is a dinner once a month called Dinner on the Deck at the River Cafe near our kitchen. It’s a wonderful family style meal where people come and enjoy great seasonal and organic food grown right here on the Monterey Peninsula.  It’s not uncommon to be sitting next to the farmer who grew the produce, or the woman who raised the goats and make the chèvre and caramel goats milk ice cream, or the fisherman that caught the fish for the earlier that day, and so on and so on.  The dinner also included strawberries and goat cheese with our Spiced Tangerines!

When I shared these tangerines with the lovely ladies at the River Cafe I told them they were wonderful with spinach, goat cheese, and strawberries on a salad, as well as a few other things.  I wasn’t sure how they were going to use them but I knew it would be spectacular and far exceed my expectations.  Well, they were!  They were beautiful, delicious, and really easy to recreate.

Central Coast Strawberries

Below is list of what you’ll need and the approximate amounts.

1 pint Strawberries
8 oz chevre
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Fresh mint
1 jar Spiced Tangerines (or your favorite marmalade thinned with a smidgen of water)

Prep work – Create an assembly line:

Finely chop the tangerines, walnuts, and mint and set each aside in their own prep bowls.

Place chèvre in a prep bowl next to the tangerines, walnuts, and mint.

Cut strawberries in half and then slice a little off the back side to make them flat so that they’ll stay put  and place on a platter.

Then fill the center of each the strawberries with a mound of goat cheese.  Using a spoon top the goat cheese with chopped Spiced Tangerines then sprinkle with chopped walnuts and mint.

Strawberries, Goat Cheese, Mint, & Walnuts

It’s just that easy!  They’re gorgeous and easy to make for one person or many.

Until next time.